Native Vegetation and Scattered Tree Offsets (South Australia)

South Australia features a Native Vegetation and Scattered Tree Offsets program driven by requirements in the Native Vegetation Act of 1991 and the Native Vegetation Regulations of 2003. The former requires a permit for native vegetation clearing, and the latter requires offsets, called a 'significant environmental benefit (SEB), after a mitigation hierarchy is followed. When a development impacts native vegetation of scattered trees, offsets can be provided either on-site by the developer or by a payment to a government fund (Native Vegetation Fund), which then creates the offset. The offset occurs either on the property or in the same Natural Resource Management Region (8 regions exist in the state) and is created by managing, restoring, or re-vegetating areas of native vegetation. The greatest demand-driver for offsets in the region is mining, with landowners, state government, and extractive industries supplying the offsets. The program encourages 'like-for'like' or 'like-for-better' offsets. The unit of credit is based on either area or individual 'scattered trees' using a simple ration system. There are three sets of guidelines for offsets for: 1) mining, 2) clearance of scattered trees, and 3) less formal guidelines for clearing of native vegetation for individual house sites. South Australia is in the middle of changing legislation of the program to give preference to locating offsets in priority area. The state is also investigating developing new credit quantification system as well as a monitoring and evaluation framework for the offsets program.

Program Statistics

Date Established: 2003 Status: Active Program Type: Combination (One-Off Offset, Compensation)
About the program:
Annual size of program (area): (acre) Year of Data:
Cumulative size of program (area): (acre) Years of Data: -
Annual payments of program (US$): 48,383 Year of Data: 2009
Cumulative payments of program (US$): 48,383 Years of Data: 2009 -
Notes on program size or payments:

The program payment / cumulative payment is at minimum $48,383, as this figure only represents the funding coming from a unique offset program in which the State allowed a tourism operation company to pay a levy to the government over a ten-year period to be used for biodiversity offsetting. The levy is expected to bring in around AUS$50,000 [US$48,383] annually

Species or habitat types (if applicable):
Notes: SA DWLBC webpages:;
Bank regulator information: South Australian Government Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation Last Updated: September 23, 2010